Swahili Course Descriptions

The following courses are offered regularly as a part of our Swahili language program and Swahili minor. For all SWAHIL catalog listings and current scheduling information please check the PS Mobile Course Catalog.

Core Swahili Language Courses

The greatest part of the first term will be devoted to the presentation and practice of the basic sound patterns of the language, its fundamental sentence patters, and sufficient vocabulary to illustrate and practice them. An introduction to the writing system will be offered together with the opportunity to acquire elementary writing and reading skills.
At the end of the second term of the first year of study the student should be able to produce all the significant sound patterns of the language, to recognize and use the major grammatical structures within a limited core vocabulary. The student should be able a) to engage in simple conversations with native speakers about a limited number of everyday situations and b) to read and write simple material related to the situations presented.
The first term of the second year will concentrate on the further development of fluency in oral production and the improvement in the student's ability to understand the flow of speech as uttered by a native speaker. Increased attention will be paid to reading as a means of augmenting a recognition vocabulary and writing as a drill and as a means of consolidating and communicating the knowledge gained.
At the end of the second term of the second year the student should be able to converse comfortably with a native speaker on a variety of non-specialized subjects. The student will be offered an opportunity to experience and more fully understand the culture of the people who use the language through readings of various types. More complex writing tasks will be expected at this level.
Course description coming soon!
Course description coming soon!
SWAHIL 0107 - Swahili 7
Students in this class will deepen their knowledge of Swahili by delving into Advanced Swahili. They will build advanced conversational proficiency, while simultaneously building advanced knowledge of the discussions of global issues of interest. Writing, listening and reading comprehension skills will be enhanced in light of advanced Swahili. Students will continue to use vocabulary learned throughout previous courses. They will also utilize new vocabulary learned in reading and listening to news items.
Students in this class will work together to achieve near-native fluency in speaking, reading, writing and listening. Students will continue to build on the knowledge gained throughout past Swahili classes in order to deepen their understanding of the complexities of conversation, discussion and understanding Swahili in the context of everyday life and academic knowledge. They will practice to speak extensively on topics of interest, analyzing and offering opinions on various issues. Students will have opportunities to display their prowess through independently carrying out research on topics of interest and global topical issues and presenting their work from the readings.

Elective Courses for the Swahili Minor

This course introduces students to the Swahili culture, and serves as a gateway to understanding other African cultures and societies. It explores the social-cultural customs, traditions, values, beliefs and experiences that give a unique identity to the Swahili people of East Africa. A special emphasis is placed also on the socio-economic activities of the people, the challenges in their shared human experience, and their struggles for a better life and more just and equitable society. The course examines the dynamics of cultural unity and diversity from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course will draw concrete examples from literature, film, music, social media and other sources of cultural information. Students will examine and discuss different aspects of Swahili culture, and will identify the similarities and disparities between the Swahili culture and their own.
The topic and content of this special topics course are variable.
SWAHIL 0111 - Introduction to Swahili Language Abroad
This course is taught only in Tanzania as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Tanzania.
This course is taught only in Tanzania as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Tanzania.
Through this class, students will read literature about the impact language has on interactions between different cultures. There is discussion of the differences in communication within and between various communities.
While giving an overview of the types of languages present in each area of the world, this course explores the composition and trends within and between language families. The course incorporates study of language structure differences as well as sociolinguistic variations.
Multidisciplinary introduction to Africa emphasizing the richness, diversity and dynamism of the African experience and presented through lecture discussions of culture, social structure, history, economy, politics and other aspects of Africa's development.
Course description coming soon!
Course description coming soon!